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Dubuque slows Central momentum 86-75

Women's basketball | Feb. 7, 2009

AJ Baker DUBUQUE—The road woes continued for the Central College women’s basketball team Saturday as the Univ. of Dubuque held on for a 86-75 win.

That dropped the Dutch to 0-6 away from home in Iowa Conference play as Dubuque moved climbed into a tie for seventh place with Central at 4-8. Both clubs are 8-13 overall.

Central never led in the contest and trailed by as many as 12 points in the first half before cutting the lead to 44-37 at halftime. The Spartans were up by 13 midway through the second half. A 10-3 Central burst cut the advantage to 74-70 with 5:33 left, but the Dutch turned the ball over on two of their next three possessions.

“We weren’t real sharp,” said coach Jerry Nikkel. “We took a step back. The thing that bothered me was that we were not the aggressive team on the floor. The last couple of games, we’ve been taking it to the other team. That wasn’t the case today.”

Guard Ashley Gerst (junior, Columbus Junction, Wapello HS) was among four Central players in double figures with 12 points and three steals. Guard Laura Porter (senior, Monroe, PCM HS) had 11 points and four steals, while guard Sarah Paulson (freshman, Ottumwa) had 11 points and seven rebounds. Forward Haley Brillhart (freshman, Pella) had 10 points while center Andrea Clark (sophomore, Guthrie Center) pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds and guard Jordan Waddell (sophomore, Guthrie Center) had six assists.

Nikkel also cited the play of freshman reserve guards, Kelsey Schuring (Pella) and AJ Baker. Schuring had a career-best nine points and Baker added five in limited action.

“I thought they did a nice job off the bench at the end of the first half to allow us to make a comeback,” Nikkel said.

Dubuque’s Jennifer Nichols and Briana Nelson combined for 41 points with 21 and 20 points, respectively. The Spartans outshot Central 48.4 percent to 42.0 and held a 42-38 rebounding advantage.

“We allowed way too many easy shots,” Nikkel said.

“A lot of our youth was showing through. But we’ll get there. We’ll go back to practice and work hard like we have all year.”                                                                                                                        

An even stiffer road challenge awaits as Central travels to Indianola Wednesday to tangle with No. 9-ranked Simpson, the league leader. Simpson is 19-3 overall and 11-2 in the conference after a 79-63 victory over second-place Wartburg College Saturday. Simpson outscored Central 97-73 at Pella Jan. 21.

It’s a women’s-men’s doubleheader with the women’s contest starting at 6 p.m.


Central College